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Midges in spiders' web

Aphidoletes aphidimyza: several specimens hanging on one thread (closer view). (Copyright: Troy Bartlett)

From Tony Irwin:

'Hanging from spiders webs is known in a number of families of nematocerous flies. In Britain, I have found Culicidae, Limoniidae, Tipulidae and Mycetophilidae all utilising spiders' webs for resting, particularly in caves and cellars. It is possible that it is safer to overwinter suspended from a spider's web, rather than resting on the wall of the cave. Spiders have a "lower threshold" prey size, anything below which they ignore. I suspect that Aphidoletes is under that threshold for many spiders, so they are relatively safe from the spiders, and certainly safe from most other insect predators.
Looking at the photographs, it appears that Aphidoletes has strikingly pale tarsi. This is a feature shared with Dolichopeza albipes, a European tipulid that lurks in shady places (where its larvae feed on liverworts). The pale tarsi may be associated with the habit of hanging on spiders' webs, providing a distraction for larger predators such as wrens which often feed from webs.'

Note from the editor:
Tony's text was composed after seeing another image of Aphidoletes hanging from spiders' web. In this image, the tarsi of the hanging midges appeared to be white, just as in the top image in this article. I suspect that the tarsi may be pale, but that the white appearence was largely cause by the use of flash light. The other pictures in this article show that other parts of the legs may appear white as well.


Aphidoletes aphidimyza: several specimens hanging on one thread. (Copyright: Troy Bartlett)


Aphidoletes aphidimyza: male hanging on a thread (close-up). (Copyright: Troy Bartlett)


Submitted by Paul Beuk on November 21 2004 - 17:17:54
Comments
#1 | conopid on 30 October 2005 19:58:55
Brilliant. I shall be looking at more spider webs in future.Shock
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15 December 2018 06:13
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14.12.18 16:27
Each user has a maximum of ten new threads per day (24 hours). Just to prevent a single user from sending scores of his unidentified fly photos at once and thus drain out any other threads.

10.12.18 00:08
Hello, I'm having a problem posting new threads, as the "No new Threads allowed..." is showing up on all of the forums. Is there some sort of thread limit I've exceeded?

03.12.18 11:19
SabineH: you have to be logged in to see "New Thread" in the right upper corner of each "forum" site. In the case of accidental logout you have to start over.

30.11.18 04:57
If anybody has any PDFs on Diptera of Southeast Asia I would love to have copies of them, mrgordonramel@yaho
o.com

29.11.18 20:13
Hello, tried to start a thread but upload did not work. And now I cannot find the button "New post" anymore. Please, help. Thanks

13.11.18 12:49
Hello Can any1 give me a contact email for Entomologie heute Thx

11.11.18 18:28
I don't have it, sorry

11.11.18 12:51
@Rafael_Carbonell What I would like is a pdf copy of Key to the Families of Diptera.

10.11.18 19:29
@Gordon, what exactly do you need? All the Oosterbroek literature is here: https://ccw.natura
lis.nl/

09.11.18 15:56
Does anybody have a PDF of Oosterbroek they could email me? I had one but it didn't make it to Cambodia.

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